By Josh Adams, @NCAAhoopsdigest
Newark NJ— The new year brought a little bit of luck to the Seton Hall Pirates as they defeated Marquette 69-66 thanks to a mix of turnovers and hustle in the last four minutes. The two evenly matched Big East teams put the seven thousand fans at the Prudential Center on the edge of their seats for much of Sunday afternoon.
As 2017 begins, the Big East Conference has had it’s fair share of close games in the past few days. The trend continued as Marquette traveled to Seton Hall Sunday afternoon. The Golden Eagles are coming off a win over Georgetown while Seton Hall lost to Creighton in their conference season debut.
The first half exhibited the three point ability of Marquette’s Katin Reinhardt. A graduate transfer from USC, he lit up the scoreboard with four made three-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game. Marquette jumped out to a 20-12 lead early in the first half behind Reinhardt’s ability to nail an open jumper. Seton Hall regrouped behind the play of Angel Delgado. He was a menace on the glass and beat up on the Marquette forwards while hitting double figures in points in the first half. The Pirates took a slim 33-32 lead into halftime thanks to a 6-0 run in the final minutes of the opening stanza.
The second half started with a 9-4 Pirates run that caused Marquette Coach Steve Wojciechowski to call an early timeout. Delgado continuted his dominance in the 2nd half while getting his eighth consecutive double-double. While Reinhardt cooled down thanks to Seton Hall’s defense, Markus Howard started to heat up for the Golden Eagles. He scored five straight points for Marquette as they drew within 2, 54-52.
Marquette looked to put the game away after Howard’s layup to put them up 64-60 with 2:50 left in the game.
Then, the madness started.
In a span of less than a minute, Marquette’s Luke Fischer missed a wide open dunk, Howard missed a wide open three-pointer and Hannif Cheatham blew an easy layup. Seton Hall’s Khadeen Carrington made a free throw to bring the Pirates within one point with thirty seconds left. He missed the second but Sanogo wrestled the ball from Marquette and went to the line. In a strange turn of events, Sanogo missed his free throw and Carrington somehow ended up with the rebound and gave the Pirates the lead with a old-fashioned three point play. On Marquette’s inbound play, Sanogo stole the ball to ice the game for the home team. The seven thousand Pirate faithful in attendance exhaled in relief as Seton Hall improved their record to 11-3.
Delgado lead the Pirates in scoring with 18 points (with 12 rebounds). Carrington and Desi Rodriguez (pictured) had 12 points respectively.
Marquette’s leading scorer was Reinhardt with 17 points. Howard had 14 points and Fischer contributed 12 in the losing effort. The Golden Eagles are 10-4 on the year with a trip to #1 Villanova coming on Saturday.
More to come including an interview with Ish Sanogo and video. Follow us at @NCAAhoopsdigest on Twitter.